According to research, most people that believe they are “prepared” for disasters, aren’t as prepared as they think. Almost 20% of people have a disability that would affect their capacity to respond to an emergency situation, but shockingly only one out of four people have made arrangements specific to their disability to help them respond safely in the event of an emergency.
Becoming more prepared in case of an emergency is easier than you may think. Taking a few simple steps to prepare your apartment community, could save you trouble down the road.
Prepare Your Community
Check out local organizations already doing work. Many service groups have identified community needs and have built the expertise to provide solutions. By just making a few phone calls or scanning a few websites, you can find all the information you need to know.
- Identify Local Partners: Find Citizen Corps Councils, Community Emergency Response Teams, Fire Corps units, Medical Reserve Corps and ask them what you can do to prepare and train yourself and your community for disasters.
- Get in touch with your local fire department, police department, paramedics, or emergency management agency to discuss ways to prepare your apartment community and improve its capacity to respond and recover from a disaster.
- Demonstrate and hand out all emergency procedures. We recommend:
- Information on shut downs of major building systems
- Locations of emergency exits in the building
- Location of the nearest shelter
- Phone numbers of emergency responders – medics, firefighters, police
- Evacuation routes and emergency kits
- Sources of vital information – National Weather Service, FEMA, Red Cross, USA.gov and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Having your local agencies come to your community to demonstrate how to prepare for a disaster could save you from chaos down the road. Having demonstrations once a month and enticing your tenants to attend these events, will help your community be prepared in the instance of a disaster occurring.
Creating and alerting your tenants with emergency procedures is key. Take it a step further by hosting demonstrations once a month in the front lobby. Offer tenants free lunch/dinner if they attend! The more your tenants are in the know, the safer your complex is.
- Who is shutting off water, gas and electricity?
- What are building procedures in case of power failure?
Know what tasks need to be performed and who is responsible for completing them. Designate back-up people. Have your residents and staff’s contact information in several different places. You will want to do a roll call if anything happens.
- Maintain your list of residents. Have one contact person or check-in phone number for everyone. Emergency responders may ask you to provide a list of residents and staff to make sure everyone is accounted for.
- Keep your keys and codes organized and accurately labeled. Medics may need access to locked doors to save someone’s life.
- Have a special emergency plan for those with disabilities and the elderly. Notify responders of the residents in your building who may require extra assistance ahead of time.
If you experience a disaster in your community, give Guarantee Restoration a call at 1-800-349-4357.